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popcorn.pngOK, I’m officially embarrassed. The cellphone popcorn videos got me. And four million other people too.
Every brand hopes for one of these – but this one leaves a bad taste because what really happened is that four million people were duped. Yes, I know stunts are a time-honored tradition, but, despite its cleverness, this one is confused, at best, and its long-term impact will be negative.
What did they miss? A relevant message! Good guerilla marketing is not just about making noise or attracting attention. Because what does it matter if you get the attention of four million people if they wouldn’t end up wanting to buy your product? In this case, the product category most likely to benefit from these videos is non-Bluetooth headsets like these.
Dunno about you, but I find the tactic scuzzy at best, and you can be sure I’ll do more investigating before I post about new “virals” again. Sigh.
The videos showing cellphone radiation popping corn – seen over four million times since May 28 – turn out to be a “murketing” hoax by Bluetooth headset retailer Cardo Systems. The headset maker commissioned a marketing agency in Paris called LastFools to make the videos.
It’s rather odd territory for a Bluetooth headset maker to enter, since the debate over cellphone radiation is far from resolved and a few recent international studies have suggested a link with three types of brain tumors. One study concluded that Bluetooth headsets turn the users head into a potentially harmful antenna.
Flying in the face of calls for corporate transparency, the summer’s key trend, says Wired, is “stealth marketing” -with professionally produced videos masquerading as user-generated amateur video.
What’s your feeling about stealth marekting? Duped? Amused? Angry? Baffled?
Related: Wired: Company Fesses Up to Corn-Popping Cellphone Clips
NY Times: Pogue: Popping a Corny Myth